In this short subject (which mostly represents a departure from Disney's traditional approach to animation), a stuffy owl teacher lectures his feathered flock on the origins of Western musical instruments. Starting with cavepeople, whose crude implements could only "toot, whistle, plunk and boom," the owl explains how these beginnings led to the development of the four basic types of Western musical instruments: brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion. Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
Shown as an accompanying short subject along with the 1963 re-release of Fantasia. See more »
Today we're going to study about...
[looking at a comic book]
Love and mystery?
[writing on the blackboard]
[balancing other students on their heads]
No, no, no!
[bops Bertie on the head]
The study of musical instruments is the subject for today.
[...] See more »
Oddly enough I was introduced to Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom as well as Melody through the Disney Sing-a-long-songs series.(that's true of a fair few Disney films and shorts actually) It's been one of my favourites ever since. The animation is done in a very interesting style and looks good. It may look limited to some, but I for one was taken by the colourful abstract look of it, and visuals-wise it does stand out among the rest of the Disney shorts. Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom is also jam-packed with gags, which do brilliantly with teaching us things about music while also entertaining us. The plunk section is and always has been my personal favourite. The simple story has relentless energy, not once did or do I feel bored watching. The music is outstanding, it is catchy and fit perfectly with each gag, the way the harmonies blended was also remarkable and I never tire of the resonant bass voice of Thurl Ravenscroft. The characters are colourful and amusing, and the vocal talents of Bill Thompson are splendidly utilised. Thompson sounds as though he loves what his owl character is teaching and his voice is full of exuberance. All in all, a unique short that is perfect for kids and adults regardless of how knowledgeable they are or not of music. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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